With sales of ice cream up by a reported 21 per cent and the sales of electric fans up by 300 per cent, the residential pool and spa sector is still counting its blessings after the ninth warmest UK summer since records began in 1910.
According to the Met Office UK rainfall was 182.3mm – less than half of last year; with not so much of the usual north vs south divide but more of an east to west split with western extremities like Bude in Devon and the Gwynedd Valley in Wales, topping the sunshine charts.
The feel good factor continued with reports of UK economic growth confirmed at 0.7 %. Bright spots included the main building construction and industrial sectors, which expanded at their fastest pace for three years.
However, the pace of consumer spending was revised down, and business investment fell. Swimming pool construction is also still suppressed.
Robert Coombs of Deep End Pools summed up the feeling of the residential pool and spa sector. “Knowing the past season’s weather was poor, we took a balanced gamble in overstocking on chemical sales, so we carried the demand well. Clearly there, it helped that there are now more suppliers in this market.”
Rob said inflatable loungers held their top selling spot, with luxury versions, retailing between £30 – £50, just as popular as cheaper models.
“It was obviously great to see the above ground pools back,” said Rob. “The big sheds clearly never had the stocks and this produced a great spike in sales of some old stock as well as pallets of new,” he continued.
Like many retailers, Deep End took full advantage of the opportunity to dust off old stock that had been languishing in store rooms for several seasons.
“Turning some of that stock into cash was delightful rather than it burning a hole in the company pocket,” said Rob who felt suppliers, this season, performed far better than expected despite some having recently cut back staff numbers.
Rob also reports both hot tubs and swim spas were clear summer winners. “The market is clearly primed and understands the product in full now,” said Rob and emphasised: “Marquis Spas specifically kept stock levels to an unprecedented excellent holding, something I have not seen with this brand for a long time.
“This summer has provided an excellent spring board for our further expansion plans, it is however a stark reminder of exactly how feast and famine this industry actually is; so further diversification still remains on our radar.”
Rob added: “Deep End Pools are genuinely looking forward to a venue change for SPATEX and looking forward to see the development of the UK Pool & Spa Expo show in Birmingham following last season’s successful launch event.”